The day before I was to speak on the radio about the violence in my past marriage, I found myself huddled on the floor crying.
“Why on earth do I want to share my story? How will this benefit anyone?” I thought. It came to me, after I blew my nose and texted my support women, that it wasn’t the story itself that I needed to tell. It was the universal experience of shame that I wanted to share.
We all have shame. It’s the voice, or impetus, that stops you from fully participating in your life. Even when you see others doing something you desire to do yourself, it’s the shame that stops you. If you are overweight the shame voice is the one that says you can’t be a dancer or ever be loved. If you didn’t have that shame what might you do? Take a dance class? Tell your friends you’re looking to date and go online?
Our hiding is actually food for shame. Like a mushroom, shame grows in the dark and is fed by our negative self-talk (i.e. the shit we tell ourselves). For me, it was the thought that I shouldn’t tell you that story. What will you think of me for marrying someone after there had been an act of violence? Unless you know a lot about mushrooms there is danger that you could pick a very toxic one. Shame festers and grows inside us (‘mushrooms”) if we keep it in the dark and don’t seek help or educate ourselves about its danger.
The shame voice comes from our deepest fears of not being enough (good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, rich enough, strong enough, etc. etc. etc.) and therefore bad/wrong in some way.
Cues that you are feeling shame:
What to do:
Bringing my shame into the light, here is the link to that talk. It can be found at Roberta Teller’s Blog. I spoke on her Wise Women Speak radio show on KOWS.
It took me a month to send the link to my newsletter. That was my shame in action. Just saying…..
Talk about killjoy! Shame may be the biggest one.